by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Skottie Young
First sentence: “There was only orange juice in the fridge.”
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Two things up front: First, this is a tall tale. Second, because it’s a tall tale (and because it’s meant for beginning(ish) readers), there’s not much substance to it.
That doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable; it is. I enjoy Gaiman’s stuff normally, but I really do think I prefer his whimsical works for younger kids. This one is basically the tale of a dad who went out to get milk for the morning cereal, and had a wild adventure getting back home. There are hot air balloons (or rather “Professor Steg’s Floaty-Ball-Person-Carrier”), pirates, piranhas, aliens, time travel, and even sparkly ponies. Of course, the kids don’t believe the dad, because he’s obviously telling a story. Or is he?
As I said, this is delightful. The illustrations are brilliantly funny, and I laughed aloud at many parts. My only problem with the book is that I would have liked it better if it had been a true middle grade novel, and one of the kids had had the adventure, rather than their father doing all the cool, fun stuff.
But that’s such a minor quibble. I’m going to hand this one to K to see what she thinks. I have an inkling that she’ll like it.
(Just for the record: because this is a Cybils nominee, I’ve been asked to make sure y’all know this is my opinion only, and not that of the panel.)